Operation Bikini: 2 weeks

Fitness and menstrual cycle

In the first part of the series of materials for girls devoted to the creation of an elastic and taut body, FitSeven spoke about the seven main differences in the metabolism of the male and female body. In the second part we will dwell in more detail on the main aspect of this difference.

It's no secret that the ability of women to engage in sports is directly related to the phases of the menstrual cycle. Girls often physically will not allow training because of feelings of weakness and loss of motivation. Today we will tell you how to deal with this.

Why is it hard for girls to train?

Most of the time, the body of a woman practically does not use carbohydrates as an energy source, working on free fatty acids. For a man, this is tantamount to running on an empty stomach or combining interval starvation with power training.

It is because the use of glucose in the metabolism of girls is minimal, their body is inclined to store the carbohydrates obtained from food into fatty deposits. The strategy to combat this process is unambiguous - strength training for changing metabolism.

Optimizing the metabolism of

Training with a serious weight and low repetition rate( 5-7 repetitions) both teaches the muscles to store carbohydrates in the form of glycogen, and use these carbohydrates to generate energy - in contrast to the marathon run when the body works on free fatty acids.

It is also important to note that the level of hormones that varies during the menstrual cycle also affects the ability of the female body to prioritize carbohydrates as a source of energy, significantly reducing the processes of their transformation into fat stores.

The first week of the cycle

The only time when the female sports metabolism is similar to the male one is the onset of the menstrual cycle. The minimum level of estrogen causes the body to use predominantly carbohydrates to produce energy - just like in the male body( 1).

If you feel that you can exercise, and bleeding is not too abundant, take advantage of the fat-burning advantage of the first week. Choose short workouts of high intensity - interval running or cyclic training.

Read more :
Fatest training first week cycle

Second week of cycle

In the second week of the cycle, the estrogen level reaches a maximum, making the muscles plastic. However, excessive muscle flexibility can be dangerous for untrained ligaments, so before training it is important to give at least 10-15 minutes to a full-time warm-up( 2).

Strength training of this period is optimally close to the basic program - large multi-joint exercises( sit-ups, bench press or standing dumbbells, bench presses and others), performed with a serious working weight, allowing you to do no more than 6-7 repetitions.

The third and fourth week of the

cycle The dramatically changing hormone level after ovulation leads to the fact that the body finally switches from using carbohydrates as fuel to fat. In the absence of a fast source of energy, the body becomes pylons, and training begins to seem complicated.

This period is the most difficult in terms of motivation, because you absolutely do not want to play sports. It is important to plan your workouts in advance, choosing the most "pleasant" activities( for example, yoga or pilates), and to reduce strength training.

Menopause and reception of contraceptives

Despite the fact that the body of girls and women taking oral contraceptives is less affected by the phases of the menstrual cycle, the general relationship is definitely preserved. Most of the recommendations given above should be effective.

On the other hand, menopause and the associated sharp decline in the levels of the main female hormones and, above all, estrogen, bring the sports metabolism closer to the male, gradually turning carbohydrates into the main fuel for physical training.


The main difference between the metabolism of the female body and the male is that most of the time the body uses fat stores as an energy source. This causes the body to transfer any excess calories directly to the fat deposits.

Scientific sources:
  1. Period Workout: Lifting the Curse, source
  2. The Menstrual Cycle Workout, source
  3. Menstrual cycle, Wikipedia Article, source